Snapshots of the Health Professions
Chiropractic is the primary care professional for spinal health and well-being. We are interested in and care for the whole person. Chiropractic is a natural conservative form of health care.
Dentists lead teams to provide preventative and restorative care to keep people healthy and to alleviate pain and treat patients’ oral health needs. They are at the forefront of research and developments in a wide range of innovative procedures to enhance dental and overall well-being. Dentists are instrumental in the early detection of oral cancers and systemic conditions that manifest in the mouth and that can affect the overall health of patients.
Physicians are critical to the health and well-being of all Americans, and lead teams and collaborate with other medical professionals to treat patients. They are also integral partners in medical research that can lead to prevention and treatment of diseases, and hope for patients suffering from serious illness like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Physicians may be trained as generalists, focusing on the overall health of the individual, or as specialists concentrating on one region or system of the body.
Naturopathic physicians are primary health care providers; emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods, combining the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science.
Doctors of Optometry
Doctors of optometry are the primary-care doctors of the eye and the frontline protectors of vision – our most valued sense. In ways big and small, day out and day in, doctors of optometry make a real difference in the lives of their patients. Vison corrected. Blindness prevented. Diseases averted. Lives changed. That’s what optometrists do.
Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.
Pharmacists play a vital role on the healthcare team through the medicine and information they provide to other providers and to patients. When pharmacists are involved in patient care, outcomes improve and costs decline. Pharmacists can practice and specialize in any area of healthcare and while responsibilities vary among the different areas of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists help patients get well.
Physical therapists are trusted health care professionals who examine, diagnose, and treat conditions that limit the body’s ability to move and function in daily life. A primary role of a physical therapist is to develop a plan of care and apply proven techniques to improve or restore mobility, reduce pain, and prevent disability that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries. Physical therapists also help to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs through the development of fitness and wellness programs that promote healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physician assistants (PAs) practice medicine in collaboration with physicians. They take medical histories, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, write prescriptions, deliver babies and assist in surgery. They can specialize in various kinds of medicine – such as emergency medicine, metal health, and women’s health – and it’s common for PAs to change specialties several times during their career.
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), a podiatrist, is qualified by their education and training in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lower extremity disorders, diseases and injuries. A podiatrist works independently, utilizes x-rays and laboratory tests for diagnostic purposes, prescribes medications, orders physical therapy, sets fractures, and performs surgery. As part of a healthcare team, the DPM works closely with other health professionals to treat and control disease, particularly in the area of diabetes and wound care management.
Public Health Professions
Public Health Professions focus on preventing disease and injury by promoting healthy lifestyles. They implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, conduct research, and regulate health systems to achieve these goals. The public health field confronts national and global health issues, controls infectious disease, and reduces environmental hazards, violence and injury. In the past century, public health initiatives have improved lives worldwide including increasing life expectancy by almost 30 years in the United States.
A veterinarian is a medical professional who protects the health and well-being of both animals and people. They diagnose and control animal disease and treat sick and injured animals. Veterinarians provide a wide range of services in private practice, teaching, research, government service, public health, military service, private industry, and other areas.